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A Gary success story

Most of the attention Gary Community Schools earns is negative, so

it should be noted when the Lake County school district earns a

positive distinction. Katie Washington, a graduate of Gary's West Side

High School, will be valedictorian at the University of Notre Dame

next month, the first African American to earn the honor.

Washington was valedictorian at West Side High School in 2006. She

comes from a family of high achievers: Her father is a Gary physician,

her mother is a nurse at a Women, Infants and Children program in

Gary, her brother is completing his residency at the University of

Tennessee at Knoxville. Her sister is a nurse and another brother, a

Navy veteran, works for BP.

Katie Washington was accepted to five top universities, including

Harvard. She's planning to pursue medical studies at Johns Hopkins

University after leaving Notre Dame.

Gary Community Schools should be proud.

Karen Francisco, editorial page editor for The Journal Gazette, has been an Indiana journalist since 1981. She writes frequently about education for The Journal Gazette opinion pages and here, where she looks at the business, politics and science of learning as it relates to northeast Indiana, the state and the nation. She can be reached at 260-461-8206 or by e-mail at kfrancisco@jg.net.

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